Our country faces the important challenges of overcoming our oil dependency and cutting carbon pollution. Fortunately, as confirmed by a new National Research Council (of the National Academies of Science) study which I was a committee member, electric…
Eight years ago I was puzzled as to why residential solar installations were $2.50/watt cheaper in Germany compared to the U.S. Perfect excuse for a road trip — so after meetings with installers and visiting job sites in Germany, I finally discovered the reason. It wasn’t the beer, but the paperwork and associated regulations. Unfortunately, the price gap is still about the same: a typical 4,000 watt residential system costs about $10,000 in Germany compared to $20,000 in the U.S.
U.S. residential solar PV has been growing at a breakneck pace. Annual installations have increased nearly five-fold in the past five years and, in 2014, surpassed annual commercial capacity additions for the first time in the history of PV market tracking. Additionally, nearly a third of the entire solar industry’s workforce — comprising over 174,000 employees — works in residential solar.
The Government of Egypt has said that it must invest US$12 billion in the electricity sector over the next five years in order to meet that country’s urgent electricity demands — and renewable energy will be a key component.
The U.S. solar industry closed its first quarter on March 31. So where does the U.S. industry stand at the quarter pole of 2015? Here are three trends we’re watching:
Clean water — it’s a precious resource in hot demand right now, for more than taking a shower or watering our crops. The United Nations projects the world’s population will grow by another billion people, to 8.4 Billion, by 2030. More people means more need for food, water, electricity, and other necessities. Beyond the obvious demands for water, our increasing appetite for electricity also requires water — and plenty of it. Most of the electricity generated in the U.S. uses water in some capacity.
Last June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first ever national carbon pollution standards for existing power plants. Fossil fuel-fired power plants account for almost 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, making them the largest …
Reflecting the azure skies of the Caribbean, solar panels on private houses, hotels and businesses are an increasingly common sight across all the islands. Many Caribbean customers are seeking a degree of energy independence, which is not surprising gi…
A “dark horse” is defined as a little-known entity that emerges to prominence in the face of competition — a contestant that seems unlikely to succeed. I borrow the term from a conversation last week, wherein India was referred to as the dark horse in the global race to go solar.
In Washington, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a proposed consent decree in litigation brought against EPA by, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), that would establish …
When you live on a fixed income, reducing monthly electricity bills can make a big difference in your daily life. Lower energy costs mean more money for food, health care and other important parts of raising a family.
We’ve made great progress with renewable energy — but from an almost zero base we still have a long way to go. Fortunately, the path is clear. California is already over 12 percent with a combination of hydroelectric, wind and solar (unfortunately not much hydro this year). Getting to 50 percent only requires the deployment of existing technology. But can we get to 100 percent?
A native of Leland, Governor Terry Branstad was elected to the Iowa House in 1972, ’74 and ’76, and elected as Iowa’s lieutenant governor in 1978. He was Iowa’s longest-serving governor, from 1983 to 1999. As the state’s chief executive, he weathered some of Iowa’s worst economic turmoil, during the farm crisis of the ‘80s, while helping lead the state’s resurgence to a booming economy in the ‘90s.
A new report, Clean Energy Opportunities in California’s Water Sector, offers what could be a partial solution to California’s water problems. The authors, Juliet Christian-Smith and Laura Wisland from the Union of Concerned scientists, primarily focus on the 20 percent of California’s electricity that is consumed by the water sector. They point out that most water and wastewater utilities own assets (land, reservoirs, ponds etc) that could be used to produce renewable energy.
Cowboys, frontier grit, accented English, and wild, wide open spaces are just a few of the similarities shared by Texas and Australia. Both places also have an energy-water problem. But, the good news for Texas is that it’s not too late for us to learn from Australia’s mistakes — and a few successes, too.
In our second annual survey on American homeowners’ attitudes toward clean energy, one thing is resoundingly clear. In a nation divided on climate change, immigration policy, and so many other issues, Americans are overwhelmingly united in their support of renewable energy.
Alternative energy mutual funds are continuing to recover from a slump which started in fall 2014. Annual returns range greatly, though, from a high of 15.6 percent for Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth (BIAWX), to a low of -15.8 percent for Guinness A…
A quick search of the internet reveals numerous articles outlining the challenges posed by accelerated uptake of distributed renewables, in particular changing utility load curves and the much-maligned “duck curve.”
In March, the IRS published Notice 2015-25. The rules in the notice will facilitate wind projects raising financing and give projects that had started construction in 2013 but were facing obstacles an additional year to navigate those obstacles.
The electricity grid is an aging beast, but not so old that it’s frozen in time. The grid as we know it typically operates by tapping several different power sources and by keeping some back-up on the side just in case.